Well, a night at the Manchester Opera House, anyway. Radio 4’s Just a Minute was in town and I wanted to attend the recording. Now it’s always good to attend these occasions with some eye candy on your arm, but having been blown out by one pinup, I was in need of a quality substitute. But where can one find a sex icon at short notice? Luckily, Tandleman stepped up to the plate, and we arranged to meet up for a couple of drinks beforehand. Not too many, as obviously we didn’t want to turn up half-canned. So, a dry day, and then just a couple. Easy, innit?
So far, so good. But what’s this? A message from the Tandlemeister. He’s managed to get himself “accidentally pissed,” again, but he was on the way. Well, it happens to the best of us, I suppose. At least it helped to assuage the guilt of my four warm up pints. I was expecting the worst, but when he arrived at the City Arms, he was surprisingly compos mentis. Perhaps it was the Chinese banquet he’d just enjoyed, or simply his years of experience drinking JWLees, but whatever the reason, his seven pints hadn’t dulled him. He was still talking sense, some might say more sense than usual, but I couldn’t possibly comment.
We managed three pints before curtain call. TM played safe and stuck with Tetley Bitter, while I first tried a bland Everards Tiger, before switching to Tanglefoot. I also tried Okells Doctor Okells Eastern Spice, which was every bit as spicy as I remembered. The show itself was very good with Paul Merton consummately pulling the strings. Quite a youthful audience, with a group of Yanks (or were they Canadian?) as well.
The search for a post show pint took us to the Moon Under The Water, which was pitiful, and then a yomp to the other side of town. The Unicorn disappointed by having its Copper Dragon pumpclip turned round, so we found ourselves at Bar Fringe. Here we plumped for a beer from Dervnetio, the small Derbyshire brewer. The beer was golden, but pretty thin, only saved by a subtle spice flavour. We chose the Smithfield for our nightcap. A rather dry, golden Salamander beer was our reward. Not too bad at all. Then it was home time. Thanks to the tram, I actually managed to get back to Bury in time for last orders at Wetherspoons and a pint of Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted. And a quick double whisky-the perfect end to an entertaining day.